A few thoughts from the Social Media and Small Business Panel

A few thoughts from last night’s social media conference I had the great honor of being a part of last night. While there was the usual rant on Facebook and the usual suspects there were a few points that stuck in my mind and that I wanted to share-

  • The main message of the conference was that the paradigm for marketing is changing. You can no longer keep “bankers hours” and expect your clients to come to you when it is convenient to you. Real estate has always been a 24 hour job and now that has become the rule and not the exception in most business. Make sure your clients know that you are available for them in the parameters that you are willing to speak with them- If you close up shop at 10:00 PM let them know that hopefully they will respect your boundaries.
  • One of the panelists (an academic in social media) mentioned that his college students think of Facebook as old fashioned- when they asked him about a change in the class schedule he mentioned that he posted it on Facebook and the student replied –oh there!-(with eyes rolling) for them that is like the yellow pages to us- it’s what our parents use to communicate. While this may not be your market right now it is where the market is going. They won’t read a paragraph when a sentence will do and if you can make that sentence 140 characters the better.  If this isn’t your market it will be- you aren’t a member of Top 5 because you are behind the curve but because you are out in front of it and this is what is coming.
  • Consistency is a huge part of social media as well as knowing your audience. Top 5 provides   RSS feeds for you to post information to your Facebook page- twitter account and linked in page automatically. Is that the most personal way to greet your sphere of influence, probably not but is it keeping your face out there every day with something relevant and timely to say?  Yes it is.  So why not  have an rss feed posting to your social media outlet on a daily basis and  perhaps once a week you  take one of the articles you receive as a member of Top 5 and post it to your  social media outlets adding your personal comments or  hyper localizing the content.  Your new goal is not to make a sale but to build a relationship and that like a cathedral takes time to build and can’t be destroyed in a day.
  • It’s great that you are posting to social media but you need to make sure that you listen as well as talk. There is an old saying that you have two ears and only mouth as you should listen twice as much as you speak.  Social media is a great tool for talking but a better tool for listening to what your clients need and want and positioning yourself to listen to their concerns and respond.
  • Many people think visually- they may not Google you by your name but by the images connected to your name.  Make sure that every image that you post to the web has your name or your brand attached.  In this way whenever someone searches for your brand they will not only see your postings they will see the images as well as the content you provide. Will that help to increase your SEO- of course, but then it’s not about SEO – is its- it’s about being there for your clients – of course  new clients can’t find  you if they don’t know your there…..

As they say the only thing that stays the same is change – and the best way to be ready for change is to be informed. Keep curious and stay in the game!